Blog 6/23/23

Weekly Spotlight 6/23/23 – 6/29/23

D.C.’s Onerous Concealed Carry Permit Process Makes It Harder For Residents To Protect Themselves Against Rising Crime 

It’s a story we’re seeing far too often in major cities around the country – violent assailants targeting innocent citizens in car jackings, violence on public transportation and even random attacks.  Recently in Washington, D.C., two people were left wounded after an armed carjacking incident in which one of the assailants had a gun.  Thankfully, one victim was also armed and could defend himself.  Amidst rising crime in our nation’s capital, more D.C. residents are probably asking themselves: what am I to do if this happens to me?

In this case, the victim was equipped for self-defense at a moment’s notice because he was armed.  However, that’s not the case for many D.C. residents, especially those who may not even be aware that they can lawfully carry in the city.  Even if they are aware, they may be deterred from doing so by the city’s onerous, time-consuming concealed carry permitting process.  From the time you finally submit your application to when you may be approved for a permit, it could be two months or more.  This does not account for the hours and days spent prior to submitting your application, wading through logistically challenging obstacles, pages of confusing documents, hours of required training, fees and more.

As Amy Swearer of the Heritage Foundation pointed out, we hope that the victim of this carjacking had the time and resources to go through this complex process before this incident.  If he didn’t, he could face “up to five years in prison for carrying a gun in public without a CCW.”  It’s unconscionable that cities around the country are making it so difficult for citizens to exercise their inherent right to self-defense, then adding on extreme penalties if you don’t wade through their bureaucratic red tape. 

Carjackings in D.C. are up an alarming 49% so far in 2023, with violent crime up 13%.  Exacerbating the issue is the fact that the District’s police force has reached its lowest level in half a century, with just over 3,350 sworn officers at the end of March – a net loss of nearly 450 officers over the past three years.  One would think that, given these statistics, the D.C. government might want to empower more law-abiding citizens to be their own first line of defense and make the concealed carry permitting process simpler. 

People need the ability to effectively defend themselves, especially when crime is trending up and citizens and their families are left vulnerable. But long waiting periods for application reviews, fees and complicated licensure procedures are hindering peoples’ ability to readily defend themselves.  Of all places, our nation’s capital should be a place where people can exercise their constitutional rights without burdensome bureaucracy and government red tape.  D.C. residents deserve better – they deserve the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones at all times.

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President Joe Biden’s son can no longer own guns. That’s one of the conditions of the deal he struck with federal prosecutors that was announced on Tuesday. In addition to pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges, Hunter Biden agreed to a diversion program in lieu of felony charges related to his 2018 purchase of a firearm. He will avoid jail time under the deal but will have to stay clean for 24 months and agree to never own guns again, according to The New York Times.

Maine’s Republican lawmakers scored a victory on Thursday by rejecting a bill that would have added a three-day waiting period on receiving a legally purchased firearm. “Year after year, we’ve seen extreme gun control policies pushed by out-of-state organizations that seek to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Mainers,” said Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart (R-Aroostook) in a GOP statement Thursday. “Today, Maine Senate Republicans stood firm and led the effort to defeat these extreme proposals,” Stewart said.

A bill package introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives last week seeks to remove regulations on gun ownership in the state by allowing all firearm owners the same rights as open or concealed carry permit (CPL) holders. House Bills 4710, 4711 and 4715, sponsored by state Reps. Angela Rigas (R-Caledonia), Bryan Posthumus (R-Greenville) and Jay DeBoyer (R-Clay Twp.), would allow any legal gun owner to carry their firearm in areas previously designated for open carry or CPL holders only. 

President Biden took another swipe at Second Amendment supporters Tuesday evening, reminding them that they would “need an F-16” to challenge the U.S. government. Biden’s remarks at a fundraising event in a private residence in California came as he discussed gun violence in America and stressed the notion that Americans do not need AR-15s. “We have to change,” Biden said. “There’s a lot of things we can change, because the American people by and large agree you don’t need a weapon of war. I’m a Second Amendment guy. I taught it for four years, six years in law school. And guess what? It doesn’t say that you can own any weapon you want. It says there are certain weapons that you just can’t own. Even when it was passed, you couldn’t own a cannon. You can’t own a machine gun.… No, I’m serious.”